Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Thursday declared that efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law were "now revived" after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted that it had inappropriately targeted conservative groups to determine if they had abused their tax-exempt status.
At a tea party rally in Washington D.C., the Minnesota Republican pointed to the scandal as evidence that the IRS should not be allowed to distribute subsidies for health care coverage through state exchanges and issue penalties for individuals who elect not get insurance.
"As someone who formerly worked for the IRS, I can tell you this is the largest ramp-up and expansion, both of employees but also on an area of jurisdiction on one of the largest new entitlement programs that the American people have seen in decades," she told the crowd. "That's why it's crucial that we ask these questions now, when our most personal, sensitive, intimate information -- our health care information -- will all be centralized in a national federal database."
"Who will have access to that database, for what purpose?" she asked. "Will our most personal, sensitive information be used to deny health care? Or to delay access to health care? Or could it be possible that our sensitive information could be used to blackmail Americans. Or even potentially to embarrass Americans. Again, this question would have been considered unreasonable and out of bounds a week ago. Today, this question is highly relevant."
Bachmann reminded the cheering tea partiers that the House would be voting later that day for the 37th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
"Many people said this issue was dead, many people have said that Obamacare is here to stay," she explained. "We are here as the people's representatives, as real people across the United States to say, this issue is now revived! It's is back on the table!"
"We believe the heat will become so hot that even the president of the United States will be forced to repudiate his signature legislation."
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (R), who also spoke at the rally, had little say about health care reform, and instead focused on "legal status" for tea parties -- talking points that could have easily caused a passerby to mistake the event for an immigration reform rally.
"I want to go back to this question, why were you seeking legal status?" Gohmert remarked. "Have you heard what has happened? You have a government that is forcing people to get a legal status in order to just come up here and have their voices heard. And then once they force you into this funnel of having to have legal status then they use that to intimidate and abuse to prevent opposite views from being heard."
"And if the AP [phone records seizure] story has taught anything, it should be to the media that when there is a tyrannical despot, the media will be one of the early victims! You will be used as helpful savants for a while and then when you are no longer needed, you will be pressured and put out of business as well."
"Why would you want legal status?" he asked. "Because this is the way a tyrannical government comes into being and perpetuates itself."
Watch this video from Fox News, broadcast May 16, 2013.